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April 2, 1996

OPEN TEXT FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST LOTUS

By CBR Staff Writer

Fresh from its January IPO, 175-employee Open Text Corporation of Bannockburn, Illinois has run slap, bang into the disapproval of Lotus Development Corp’s lawyers who took exception to the way Lotus Notes was waved good-bye to in a Wall Street Journal advertisement last month. The advert featured what Daniel Cheifetz, president of the software products division at Open Text called: An accurate rendering, of Lotus’ artwork, with the simple message Adios – This changes everything. Intranets are here Lotus has since sent a cease and desist notice, suggesting that this act dilutes the Lotus Notes trademark violating the new Federal Trademark Dilution Act, which in turn brought the swift response of a lawsuit in the form of a declaratory judgment action filed against Lotus in the northern District of Illinois court asking for the court’s defense against Lotus. Open Text is positioning its Livelink Intranet as a competitor to Lotus Notes, recently landing Ford, Qualcomm and British Petroleum as betas for the new software. Open Text is happy that it has acted within the guidelines of the new act, but this has the possibility of becoming a test case on how trademarks are used in comparative advertising, if IBM-Lotus proves to have the will to turn it into one. We’ll keep you informed.

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